The fourth season of Downton Abbey kicked off last night here in the U.S. to record-breaking ratings, but star Michelle Dockery is ready to stretch her acting chops a bit with something decidedly different: a cop show. Funny or Die has released a “trailer” for a TNT series called Tough Justice starring Dockery and Michael Chiklis as mismatched cops, and it seems that Dockery is having some trouble fully letting go of her Downton role as Lady Mary, even in the modern world of hardened cops. The sketch is really funny and shows that Dockery has some serious skills as a comedic actress. How long before SNL comes calling? Hit the jump to watch the video.
We’ve got some new casting news for you:
Hit the jump for more information on each new casting bit.
Opening this weekend is director Taylor Hackford’s (Ray) Parker. Based on the novel Flashfire by Donald E. Westlake (published under the pseudonym Richard Stark) the crime thriller stars Jason Statham as the title character, a professional thief with a strict personal code of ethics. Parker doesn’t steal from people who can’t afford it, he doesn’t hurt people who don’t deserve it, and if you break his rules he will hunt you down and make you pay. When his team double crosses him on the job and leaves him for dead he tracks them to Palm Beach with a mission for vengeance. The film also stars Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Clifton Collins, Wendell Pierce and Micah Hauptman.
During the recent Los Angeles press day I got to talk with Chiklis. He talked about what attracted him to the film, what it’s like working with Hackford, how he prepares for roles, playing the villain, hist fight scene with Statham, planning for the second half of his career, and what people can expect from his upcoming film Pawn.
In Parker, Taylor Hackford’s new action thriller, Michael Chiklis plays Melander, the head of a crew of career criminals with ties to the Chicago Mob, who gives Jason Statham’s character a run for his money. The intelligent and dynamic actor who won critical acclaim for his work in The Shield is a dangerous, smart and worthy opponent. He’s joined by newcomer Micah Hauptman as Hardwicke, the fourth member of the gang and the weak link in the chain, who hopes to use his family’s mafia connections to fence their loot. Opening January 25th, the film also features Jennifer Lopez, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins, Jr. and Nick Nolte.
At the recent press day, Chiklis and Hauptman talked about their characters, getting to know each other at the start of the shoot, the attraction of working with veteran director Hackford, their action scenes with Lopez, collaborating with experienced action actors, the trust factor when you play at make believe for a living, the challenges of shooting in hot and humid Louisiana, and the fun and perils of taking in the best of New Orleans. Chiklis also discussed his new film, Pawn, and a possible Shield movie. Hauptman revealed his upcoming movie, Destined, with Omar Epps and Mekhi Phifer. Hit the jump to read more.
Sheila spoke to the cast of Parker at roundtable interviews today. We will have the full interviews for you soon, but we want to pass along what Michael Chiklis had to say about Pawn and a possible Shield movie. Chiklis is a producer on the low-budget crime thriller Pawn, and stars alongside Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Common, Nikki Reed, Stephen Lang, and Max Beesley. This is the first feature Chiklis has produced, and it sounds like a challenge, “It’s a little movie. All things considered, it’s a cool little film. A lot of bang for the buck considering it was a 15-day shoot.”
Chiklis estimated he has been asked about a movie to follow up on his landmark FX series The Shield “ten thousand times.” But he remains enthusiastic about the possibility: “I’d love to do it. Ask Fox, please… [Creator Shawn Ryan] has a phenomenal idea to move forward with it.” The Shield series finale is among the best ever, so it’s encouraging that the Ryan and Chiklis want to continue the story for creative reasons. Hit the jump for the full quotes.
The first trailer for director Taylor Hackford’s (Ray) crime thriller Parker has been released. Based on the novel series by Donald E. Westlake, the film stars Jason Statham as a professional thief who lives by a set of rules: don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. When his crew double crosses him and leaves him for dead, he sets out to seek revenge during their biggest heist ever. The pic is a slight departure from Statham’s standard shoot-em-up action fare, but this trailer still has its share of clichés. Moreover, Statham inexplicably plays a lot of dress-up for his heists, disguising himself as a priest and as a rich Texan (with a terrible accent). If you’re a fan of Statham and his films, this is probably right up your alley. If not, Parker looks unlikely to change your mind.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce, and Nick Nolte. Parker opens on January 25th, 2013.
In director John Stalberg’s stoner comedy, High School, soon-to-be valedictorian Henry Burke (Matt Bush) decides to get high for the first time in his life after a chance encounter with the school’s resident drug head, Travis Breaux (Sean Marquette). Shortly afterward, he discovers that the school’s dictatorial principal, Dr. Leslie Gordon (Michael Chiklis), has just instituted a zero tolerance drug policy. When Gordon schedules a mandatory drug test for the entire school the next day, Henry sees his dreams of a bright college future are about to go up in smoke. His only option involves stealing law student-turned-drug dealer Psycho Ed’s (Adrien Brody) stash of high powered ganga.
At the press day for High School, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Chiklis and Bush. Chiklis, who portrayed Detective Vic Mackey on FX’s ground-breaking drama The Shield, revealed what attracted him to the project, how he developed his character, and why he had fun playing the outrageous role. Bush discussed how the film compared to his real-life high school experience and why he enjoys playing characters that are distinctly different. They also told us about their latest projects including Chiklis’ new CBS television series, Vegas, with Dennis Quaid and Bush’s feature film, Trouble with the Curve, with Clint Eastwood.
As it’s 4/20 and all, it seems appropriate that a red-band trailer for the stoner comedy High School go online. Co-written and directed by John Stalberg, the film centers on a soon-to-be valedictorian (Matthew Bush) who smokes pot for the very first time, only to find out that a mandatory drug test has been scheduled at school. In a moment of panic, Bush and his friend (Sean Marquette) conspire to spike the school’s bake sale brownies with the help of a law-student-turned-drug-dealer (Adrien Brody) in order to make everyone fail the drug test. As with the first trailer, there are a couple laughs to be found. It seems like a fun enough premise for a stoner comedy, and I could see it being a fun watch on a late weekend night.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Colin Hanks, Michael Chiklis, Adhir Kalyan, and Mykelti Williamson. High School opens on June 1st.
The first trailer for the pot comedy High School has gone online. Co-written and directed by John Stalberg, the film centers on a soon-to-be valedictorian (Matthew Bush) who smokes pot for the very first time, only to find out that a mandatory drug test has been scheduled at school. In a moment of panic, Bush and his friend (Sean Marquette) conspire to spike the school’s bake sale brownies with the help of a law-student-turned-drug-dealer (Adrien Brody) in order to make everyone fail the drug test. The trailer has a couple laughs, and I’ve heard that the full film is quite a bit better than this clip would have you believe. The premise could be a lot of fun, and Brody and Michael Chiklis are nearly unrecognizable as the psycho drug dealer and school principal, respectively. Moreover, it looks like there’s a Thurman Murman cameo, and every movie is automatically improved 100% with Thurman Murman.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Colin Hanks, Adhir Kalyan, and Mykelti Williamson. High School opens on June 1st.
FilmDistrict has pushed back Taylor Hackford‘s Parker to January 25th. Based on the mystery novels by Donald Westlake, Parker stars Jason Statham as the eponymous thief, and co-stars Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., and Michael Chiklis. The movie was originally set to open on October 12th where it would have faced (and probably lost to) the star-studded The Gangster Squad and the Kevin James comedy Here Comes the Boom.
January, long treated as a dumping ground for likely flops, has started to yield surprising returns. Modestly-budgeted movies like Contraband, Underworld Awakening, The Devil Inside, and The Grey all performed well at the box office, and Parker has the potential to do the same. Currently, the film’s only competition is the breakdancing flick Battle of the Year: The Dream Team (formerly Planet B) starring Josh Holloway, Laz Alonso, and Josh Peck. [Box Office Mojo]
Today in TV casting news, we’re featuring two sci-movie heroines who are making the jump to the small screen. First up is Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), who will be making her TV series debut in USA’s Political Animals. The Oscar-nominated actress will play Elaine Barrish, a divorced former first lady and recently-appointed Secretary of State who embraces her new job after overcoming her failed marriage and the loss of the presidential nomination.
Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) can also be seen on the small screen in the untitled CBS series pilot based on Ralph Lamb, a 1960s rodeo cowboy turned Las Vegas sheriff. Moss will play assistant district attorney Katharine O’Connell, the daughter of a local rancher and neighbor to the Lambs. The pilot also stars Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) and Michael Chiklis (The Shield). Hit the jump for more on both pilots.
In further television casting news today, Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis have been confirmed for the CBS period drama based on Ralph Lamb, a 1960s rodeo cowboy turned Las Vegas sheriff. Quaid will star as Sheriff Ralph Lamb himself, while Chiklis will star as Johnny Savino, a Chicago mobster with visions of transforming Las Vegas for financial gain. Needless to say, the two characters don’t see eye to eye. Quaid and Chiklis will also be co-executive producers on the project for screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (American Gangster) and Without a Trace executive producer, Greg Walker. James Mangold (Walk the Line) will direct the pilot.
In other small screen casting news, comedienne Lily Tomlin has signed on to co-star in Reba McEntire’s new comedy pilot for ABC. Hit the jump to see who she’ll be playing.
The Shield co-stars Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker are set to reunite for the crime thriller Pawn. The indie centers on a hostage situation gone wrong, as an ex-con “becomes entangled in a manipulative chess game between the Feds, local police and the mob.” In addition to Chiklis and Whitaker, Deadline reports that Ray Liotta and Common are also set to star with David A. Armstrong making his feature directorial debut. Chiklis will be producing the pic alongside Brad Luff, Jeff Most, and Michael Becker. The script was written by Jay Anthony White and production is set to begin on December 1st.
Chiklis recently wrapped his role as the villain in the revenge thriller Parker opposite Jason Statham, while Whitaker just starred in The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Common can currently be seen on AMC’s western drama series Hell on Wheels.
We have three quick casting stories to report. First up, Michael Chiklis has left behind playing good guy superheroes on the now-canceled No Ordinary Family and will play the villain in Taylor Hackford’s revenge-thriller Parker starring Jason Statham. Statham plays the eponymous character, a thief with a strict moral code. The story is based on Donald Westlake’s series of crime novels and Parker is intended to be the start of a new action franchise. Deadline reports that Jennifer Lopez is still in talks to play the female lead, but I’m just excited to see Chiklis get back into badass Vic Mackey mode (although I wouldn’t classify as Mackey as a straight “villain” as much as a deeply flawed character).
Hit the jump for casting news regarding Chiklis’ The Shield co-star Walton Goggins as well as more casting for the adaptation of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
The new ABC television series No Ordinary Family follows the Powell family and their journey from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim (Michael Chiklis) feels disconnected from his workaholic wife, Stephanie (Julie Benz), and two teenage children, Daphne (Kay Panabaker) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett). In an attempt to encourage family bonding time, Jim decides the family will join Stephanie on her business trip to South America, but when their plane crashes into the Amazon River, they soon realize that their lives have been forever changed, as each member of the family starts to show signs of new, unique and distinct super-powers. In trying to understand their abilities, they rebuild their family life and learn about what defines them as individuals.
In a recent interview to promote the series premiere, actress Kay Panabaker talked about her character’s power of telepathy and its pitfalls as a 16-year-old, how she would love to be able to read minds herself and that she would really like to be able to do physical stunts, at some point during the season. Check out what she had to say after the jump: